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AI / Alexa / Amazon

Alexa Tip: DST and the Time Change

Spring is upon us and with that most of the world observes Daylight Savings Time by “springing” clocks forward by an hour. Why this still happens is a mystery to most considering there are reports that during this time heart attacks increase and car accidents happen more often due to lack of proper sleep. It was once believed that the time change was an effort to provide more daylight hours to farmers, but farmers will tell you that it actually throws off a cow’s milking cycle. And, with the modern farm equipment farmers can work well into the night. Many believe DST still exists for consumer reasons, i.e., more people are apt to continue shopping and spending money during daylight hours. So, as long as there’s money involved, we’ll probably never see the end of DST in our lifetime. But, one can hope…

Some might have noticed that Alexa devices didn’t follow the time change. Many realized on Sunday morning that Alexa was still on the old “fall back” time.  The cause is a mix-up in how Amazon displays the different time zones.

On the Settings page of each Alexa device there’s an option for “Device Location” and an option for “Device Time Zone.”  If you use “Device Location” and give Alexa your exact address, it will automatically set the Time Zone correctly for you.

However, if you decided not to use “Device Location” and instead use “Device Time Zone” – this is where things get a bit sketchy. There are two options for many of the Time Zones. For example, for Eastern Standard Time, the two options exist:

  • America/Eastern Standard Time
  • US/Eastern Standard Time


Only one of these works correctly – the one that is prefixed with “US.”  To fix your device(s), in the Alexa app, change “America/yourtimezone” to “US/yourtimezone.”

I suspect Amazon will fix this eventually.

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A community professional, keynoter, and evangelist who has driven social media and marketing strategies, editorial successes, delivered customer successes and built some of the largest and longest-running online communities. Rod has created, managed and grown small, medium, and mega-sized conferences; run entire editorial teams to deliver record traffic and market leadership; as product manager, directed the success of hundreds of product releases; supported sales and marketing to ensure customer success; developed, run and sold businesses; written thousands of technical articles, white papers, case studies, and technical documentation; hosted and delivered hundreds of attendance shattering webinars and virtual tradeshows; and delivered keynote speeches and sessions at a wide variety of events including conferences, webinars, events, and user groups.

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